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Case study: Regulator review for union member proves fruitful

In October 2019, Sciacca’s Lawyers was contacted by a Union member who was suffering significant psychological distress in the workplace. This member was subject to ongoing bullying by his superiors over a number of years. However, a lot of the bullying was occurring ‘behind closed doors’ and was witnessed by very few people. This member was forced to take sick leave and a medical certificate stated that he could not return to work for a long period of time. This member proceeded to make an application to Workcover Queensland for a psychological injury, which was subsequently rejected as none of the bullying events could be substantiated, and that the actions by his superiors were found to be ‘reasonable management action’.

We reviewed this decision to the Worker’s Compensation Regulator in December 2019. During this process, we gathered numerous witness statements and sought further medical opinion in order to evidence that the nominated events had in fact taken place as described by our client. We further submitted that there was a clear breach of several workplace policies and that management had acted unreasonably.

The application for review was successful and the original decision of WorkCover Queensland was overturned. The union member was then able to access the psychological assistance they needed as well as receive weekly compensation for lost wages.